Early Retirement
Ten Reasons to Bring Baggies
by Robin Charlton
1. To meet TSA requirements

Probably the most obvious reason is that U.S. airport security requires that all
liquids, gels, aerosols, creams, and pastes placed in carry-on luggage be 3.4
ounces or less per container, and stored in a quart-sized clear plastic zip-top

2. To temporarily store wet clothing

Gallon-size baggies come in handy to keep a wet bathing suit or socks from
messing up the other clothes in your luggage.

3. To store trash until you can locate a trash can

I never realized how convenient it is to find a public trash can in the U.S. until I
started traveling abroad. Even in spotless countries like Japan it is almost
impossible to find one. We started packing a baggie in our daybag to hold
trash until we could locate one, usually back at our hotel room.

4. To store food and snacks while on the road

We hate to waste food, so if there are leftovers we take them with us for later.
Also baggies can come in handy for picnics and road trip munchies.

5. To store important bits of papers

It’s amazing how many receipts you collect as you travel, from hotel stays,
restaurants, train tickets etc. It’s a good idea to hold these in case there is a
discrepancy with your credit card bill later. Also holding onto our original
boarding passes and airline ticket receipts has come in handy more than once
to get credit for missing frequent flyer miles.

6. To hold ice cubes

On road trips you can save some money if you bring a cooler with cold drinks
and ice cubes rather than paying for drinks at gas stations and fast food
chains along the way. Baggies of ice also come in handy if you take a tumble
and find yourself needing an ice pack.

7. To store complimentary items

Even if I have my own toiletries, I consider keeping a few of the complimentary
soaps and shampoos that hotels provide along the route. Every so often you
find yourself in a situation where they are not provided and you really wish you
had held onto a few.

8. To double-bag mouthwash

Every time I open a new mouthwash bottle it always leaks after that, so I cover
my travel-size mouthwash with two snack-size baggies once opened. If I’m
flying, once I get to my destination I buy a larger mouthwash to double-baggie.
For example, a 250 ml bottle usually just fits in a quart-size baggie.

9. To store bandages and bandaids

A plastic bag of bandages in various sizes and shapes comes with me on
every trip. Some are specialty ones like those for blisters, but mostly it’s an
array of bandaid-like bandages. A baggie keeps them clean, dry, and easy to
locate in my medicine bag.

10. To protect important items from the weather

If you’re leaving the country, the most valuable item you’ll carry is your
passport, so it’s important that it not get wet. Also, a pocket-size camera is
essential to have with you if you want to capture spur-of-the-moment scenes
for posterity. Unfortunately, some pockets are not waterproof and some places
like beaches, jungles, and anywhere with a rainy season are not dry.

Note: On most of our longer trips I start with ten of each size storage bag –  
snack size, quart size, and gallon size. So far I’ve never come home with an
unused one!
Here are 10 reasons you should consider bringing resealable plastic bags on
your next trip:
Completely updated for 2018